Mar 4, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterCASPER -- A halftime defensive adjustment proved to be the difference in the Class 2-A girls state semifinals Friday night between Wyoming Indian and Thermopolis.
The Lady Chiefs led by nine after one, but Thermopolis shut down Wyoming Indian's post play in the second half and pulled away for a 46-39 win.
On Saturday, the Chiefs were ice cold from the floor, hitting just 27 percent in a 48-29 loss to Tongue River in the third-place game.
In Friday's semifinal with Thermopolis, Kanani Washakie and Kim Goggles took the ball inside in the opening minutes, leading the Chiefs to a 16-7 advantage. Brindi Lock was effective in the paint as well, and the trio accounted for 25 of Wyoming Indian's 39 points on the game.
Senior point guard Anneshia Hill distributed the ball well to the post, with a couple of passes arching directly over the extended Thermopolis defense for point-blank shots.
The Bobcats closed quickly in the second with a 3-pointer from Kylie Fisher and another by Dana Bjorhus. The trey by Bjorhus knotted the game at 20 with 3:11 left in the half.
Much of the contest featured a one-on-battle between Hill and Bjorhus, highlighting two of the best guards in Class 2-A.
Wyoming Indian built a three-point lead late in the period on free throws by Kanani Washakie, but Fisher hit a short jumper with five seconds left to close the halftime gap to 27-26.
Goggles scored the Chiefs only basket of the third with 5:31 left and the Chiefs went ice cold against a denying post defense that featured three Bobcats packed on the baseline. The outside shot was open, but Wyoming Indian could not convert.
Thermopolis rolled on a 12-1 run over the last four minutes to build a 10 point lead at the final break. Fisher hit another trey and Jordan Leyba drained a final trey with 1:57 remaining in the period to highlight the run.
Lock and Hill hit quick shots to close the gap to 43-36 with 4:29 left but the Chiefs could get no closer. Thermopolis regained their double-digit lead, and a final 3-pointer from Washakie was the final score of the game.
It was Jocelyn Underwood versus the Tongue River Eagles for the first 12 minutes of the third place game Saturday. Underwood erupted for the game's first seven points in the opening 1:14 of the contest.
Tongue River recovered in a big way, blowing by the Chiefs on a 15-0 run that didn't stop until Kim Goggles hit a follow shot with 4:51 left in the half.
Wyoming Indian trailed 21-16 at the half but put together its only challenge of the game in the third. Goggles and Hill tallied quick baskets to close the gap to 23-21 with 4:43 left.
The spurt proved to be the high-water mark for the Chiefs. Tongue River took over the game on another run, this one of the 16-2 variety to end any hopes of a Wyoming Indian comeback.
The normally hot shooting Chiefs hit just one of 16 attempts from beyond the arc.
After an opening-round upset of top-seeded Pine Bluffs, the Chiefs dropped their next two games to finish the season 21-9.
The future is bright for head coach Aleta Moss, as she graduates just two seniors in Hill and Shaylee White.
WYOMING INDIAN 16 11 3 9 - 39
THERMOPOLIS 7 19 14 6 -- 46
Wyoming Indian -- Anneshia Hill 2 4-4 8, Kanani Washakie 2 (1) 1-1 8, Loveeda White 1 0-0 2, Kim Goggles 4 0-0 8, Jocelyn Underwood 1 0-1 2, Brindi Lock 4 1-2 9, Jasmine McGill 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 (1) 6-8 39
Thermopolis -- Sierra Schmidt 3 0-0 6, Kylie Fisher 1 (2) 1-3 9, Jordan Leyba 2 (1) 4-6 11, Dana Bjorhus 5 (1) 4-6 17, Taylor Schwalbe 1 0-0 2, Desi Rangel 1-2 1. Totals 12 (4) 10-16
WYOMING INDIAN 7 9 5 8 -- 29
TONGUE RIVER 13 8 12 15 -- 48
Wyoming Indian -- Anneshia Hill 2 0-0 4, Brindi Lock 1 0-0 2, Kanani Washakie 1 0-0 2, Loveeda White 2-2 2, Kim Goggles 2 1-5 5, Jocelyn Underwood 2 (1) 2-5 9, Kelli Redcap 1 1-2 3, Dailyn Friday 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 (1) 6-18 29
Tongue River -- Sarah Rawlings 1 0-0 2, Cierra Cooley 1 (1) 0-0 5, Sarah Nielsen 5 2-3 12, Tara Stimpson 3 0-0 6, Eryn Aksamit 5 2-4 12, Tianne Main 4 3-5 11. Totals 19 (1) 7-13 48
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